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7 Common Errors Found on Business Cards – Or Any Customizable Product, Really

Did I Really Do That?

Did I Really Do That?

Let’s get one thing straight. Sometimes our brains work faster than our fingers when it comes to typing. You know your phone number like the back of your hand. You know how to spell your name faster than someone who doesn’t have your name, and you know all of the contact information for your business and can rattle it off at the speed of light. None of that is an issue. The issue becomes when your fingers are dancing across the keyboard and you get lost in that clackity clack sound of the keys and make a bunch of ridiculous typos.

A lot of times, our Customer Care Representatives get calls about how someone received their business cards or wedding invitations and their name is spelled incorrectly. I’d like to take this opportunity to dispel one of the most common misconceptions about custom printing. We do NOT change your file once you hit “Submit Order.” Everything we do here at 123Print is digital, meaning what you submit is what we print. What benefit would we have by changing the spelling of your own name? We don’t have time to do that, guys. So if your name is Thomas and you receive your order with your name spelled “Th0msa,” that’s because you were rushing and lost in the rhythmic sound of your keyboard and probably didn’t give your product a once over before hitting Submit Order.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “But… the customer is ALWAYS right!” Perhaps. When I’m the customer I definitely like to think that I’m always right, so let me give you the tools to make sure you are always right when customizing some type of product.

I present to you, 7 Common Errors Found on Business Cards – or any Customizable Product, Really:

7. Confusing You’re and Your– I see this all the time on wedding invitations and business cards most specifically. Here is how you use these words correctly:

  • You’re – This means YOU ARE. Used in a sentence it would be: “You’re cordially invited to the wedding of our daughter, Samantha to Kenny.” Youre is not a word. If you can substitute “you’re” with “you are,” you’re using it correctly. See what I did there?
  • Your – This is the possessive form of YOU. It’s used to refer to something a person has or something that belongs to a person. Used in a sentence it would be “We’ll make your hair look great!”

6. Incorrect Uses of the Apostrophe– I still have to double and triple-check to make sure I am using the evil apostrophe correctly. Here are some down and dirty tips to help you decide when to use the apostrophe and when not to:

  • NEVER use an apostrophe with an S to make a non-possessive word plural: We sell great pizzas. NOT We sell great pizza’s
  • Use apostrophes to show possession. Most of the time you use an apostrophe followed by an S: Mary’s hair smells good.  – The hair belongs to Mary. Place an apostrophe after the S if you’re dealing with a possessive plural: Look at all of the teachers’ books! – There’s more than one teacher, and the books belong to them.

5.  Not Forming Contractions Correctly– This one drives me nuts. Let me give you a really simple way to figure out if you’re making a contraction correctly. Dont is NOT correct. Don’t IS correct. Here’s how you can check yourself. Ready?

Read the sentence you want to insert a contraction into. If your contraction can be replaced with the two words that you got to even make the contraction, then use the freakin’ apostrophe.

  • I don’t want to have to explain this to you again. – This sentence can easily become “I do not want to have to explain this to you again.” Hence why I used the apostrophe.
  • She’s new to this whole grammar thing. — This sentence can easily become “She is new to this whole grammar thing.” So… what’d I do? USED AN APOSTROPHE.

4. Adding an Extra Number to Your Zip Code – Seriously? Seriously? Your zip code is five numbers. If you want to get fancy, you can add the four digit suffix to the end, giving you a nine digit zip code. Say it with me now. Your zip code is five numbers. FIVE NUMBERS. Not six. FIVE.

3. Leaving Off a Number From Your Phone Number– Again, I ask… seriously? If you live in the United States, your phone number can be up to ten digits, if you include the one before the area code. Please pay attention to where you put the dashes, and how many digits you use. It makes a difference!

  • 461-77-123 – That cannot be a phone number!! Pay attention!
  • 571-111-888 – That cannot be a phone number either!!

2. Using an Incorrect Form of a Number or Date – Recently, I stumbled upon a wedding invitation that said “the thrifty of September.” THRIFTY. Is this supposed to be “fifty,” (which is an impossible calendar date) “thirty?” I have no clue. Now, this could very well be a case of spellchecking correcting the word to something else, but please know that it would be “thirty.” Also, it is NEVER “twelvteenth.” It’s “twelfth.”

And the number one error that I am so tired of seeing, and you should be ashamed of if you make:

Spelling Your Own Name Wrong – Even if you have someone proofread your creation, it’s really up to you to make sure your name is spelled correctly! If your name is Jennifer, but you put Jenifer someone proofing your business card may not consider that an error. Not everyone spells common names in the common way. Remember what I said earlier? We do NOT change your file once you hit “Submit Order.”

Seriously. We don’t. So please, for the love of everything good and pure in this world – SPELL YOUR NAME CORRECTLY.

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  • Reply
    September 29, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Wow, snarky much? I understand that getting reamed for other people’s silly mistakes gets old, but what a crummy attitude this blog post reflects. Maybe somebody thought this was amusing, but it’s way too sarcastic and condescending to be funny.

  • Reply
    September 30, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Excellent ideas! I have been searching for everything like this for some time now. With thanks!

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